Intended for healthcare professionals

Analysis

Calibrated response to emerging infections

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b3471 (Published 03 September 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3471

60-90 Million already infected

Using information available from New Zealand and New York City it
would appear that 20-30,000 people are infected with this pandemic
construct for each death.

Given that there have been approximately 3,000 confirmed deaths that
would suggest that between 60 million and 90 million people have already
been infected by the 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza virus.

Given the USA has 595 deaths that would equate to 12 million to 18
million infections in the USA alone.

By any measure this is a very benign influenza virus. New Zealand,
for example, normally has 400 influenza deaths each year... (according to
official's statements). This year we had 17 deaths so it could be argued
that the pandemic has resulted in 383 lives being saved which makes it
more effective than any influenza vaccine.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

05 September 2009
Ron Law
Risk & Policy Consultant
New Zealand